May 28, 2023

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The firewood ordinance proves a failure. Neither wood nor pellets can be found anymore. What’s next

The firewood ordinance could be amended, after the effect of price capping was rather undesirable.

The variant considered is that families with low incomes receive vouchers to buy wood. In stores and warehouses, wood and pellets have disappeared, and people worry that they will freeze in the winter.

Wood and pellets are nowhere to be found. Even those who made a reservation and even gave an advance have nowhere to take it.

Georgiana Lupu: “One day I went to a store to buy some products and the people there told us to go to the warehouse to show us the materials, and in the warehouse I saw pellets and I asked how much the bag is, I don’t have anything warming up and was told no they are not for sale we are not allowed to sell them. If we find pellets, we find them individually for 50 lei a bag, thinking that we need two bags to heat ourselves a day”.

This situation was triggered after the price of wood was capped at 400 lei per cubic meter, and many merchants no longer sell it. The emergency ordinance will reach Parliament next week, where it will be amended.

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Vouchers could be entered

Tanczos Barna, Minister of the Environment: “I believe that this necessary intervention will also be improved in Parliament. It must be discussed in the specialized commission and the relevant ministries if new compensation measures or new support measures are introduced, I expect them to undergo changes next week”.

An option taken into account is that this ceiling be replaced by an aid only for vulnerable people, with incomes per family that do not exceed 2500 lei.

Aurel Oprinoiu, senator USR Environment Commission: “We thought for individuals to grant vouchers of 1,000 RON, according to law 226/2021. And for legal entities, I thought of a subsidy of 150 lei per cubic meter of firewood, 500 lei per ton of pellets and 400 lei per ton of briquettes. This voucher system will stop specula, precisely because those who sell wood must recover their money on these vouchers, and to recover this money you must bring the supporting documents from behind”.

The variant of granting vouchers was supported by the PSD before this controversial ordinance was adopted, but the price ceiling proposal supported by the UDMR won the case.

The associations of wood producers say that another solution would be to cap the price of wood only for vulnerable families, who would have to buy from Romsilva.

Cătălin Tobescu, Pro Wood Association:Give forms of support to vulnerable groups, we all know that there is a mechanism to give heating aid to vulnerable groups. A support of 1,600 lei per household is established, as heating aid for wood, and we say that the very constructive solution would be that these people who really need wood, should have priority in purchasing firewood from Romsilva , and then he would have 5 cubic meters of wood for 1,600 lei”

Because of the current form of the ordinance, many operators bill wood separately from transportation services. So, in total, the customer ends up paying 10% more than before.

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